EDITOR’S NOTE: This editoral appeared in the Oct. 16, 1981, issue of National Review.
Bickering and disagreement. Aides speaking in tongues. Apparent self-contradictions. A dead in the water feeling.
We’ve been here before, we Reagan watchers: after the inauguration, when the slowest transition team in history was still struggling to put itself together; during the October campaign doldrums; in the months before the Iowa caucuses; when a scrappy Bush organization scrabbled up votes and the giant Reagan campaign slumbered. And we’ve heard the diagnoses of the pundits: he’s old; he’s lazy; out of touch; doesn’t have it; third down and twenty to go; only a matter of time before his younger/meaner/wilier opponent romps to victory…
Well, young George Bush is now his Vice President, and mean Jimmy Carter is learning how to use a word processor in his ample spare time, and wily Tip O’Neill is still recovering from the worst drubbing administered to a Speaker of the House in memory, so maybe there’s a pattern here. Anyway you like it, Mr. President, so long as it works.